Saturday, September 7, 2013

Scientists call for overhaul of UN 'blockbuster' climate reports

Suzanne Goldenberg in the Guardian (UK): International scientists are calling for an overhaul of the United Nations' "blockbuster" climate reports ahead of the delivery of the next big assessment. The reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are compiled by hundreds of scientists and are considered the definitive assessment of global climate risks, with the next big report due to be released in Stockholm this month.

But the IPCC's core mission is now under challenge from the very scientists who compiled those reports, as well as some governments.

...The governing body of the IPCC will discuss its future at a meeting in the Georgian resort town of Batumi in October and later in Berlin, a spokesman said. "What sort or products should the IPCC be producing, over what kind of time scale? Do we need this blockbuster report every six or seven years or do we need more frequent reports? That is the sort of thing that is going to be discussed there," IPCC spokesman Jonathan Lynn said.

Governments have begun weighing in on the IPCC's future, with America and some European countries pushing hardest for change. The next big push could well come from the climate scientists responsible for producing the reports.

...Andrew Weaver, a lead IPCC author and a Green party leader who earlier this year was elected to the British Columbia legislature, agreed it was time to shift away from the blockbuster style of reports...."My own view is that ... it would be healthy for the IPCC to focus on regional impacts and to focus on individual phenomena rather than the big global thing. The way to go forward would be to pick an issue and to work together in an interdisciplinary way," Weaver said....

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